Journal of Behavioral Decision Making

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Volume 21 Issue 5 (December 2008), Pages 493-622

Decisional comprehensiveness and firm performance: towards a more complete understanding (pages 598-620)


Organizational prosperity and even survival can be threatened unless strategic decisions are made through an effective process. But what does an effective decision‐making process look like? Analysts and executives have struggled over the years to answer this question. Recently, however, empirical research has produced a consistent answer for one of the most fundamental aspects of strategic decision‐making: comprehensiveness. This recent work suggests that higher levels of comprehensiveness are positive for firms facing turbulent conditions but are irrelevant for firms facing stable conditions. While this consistency would seem to be positive, it presents a puzzle: Why are comprehensiveness and performance unrelated in stable environments? In such environments, problems generally believed to plague comprehensive decision‐making are less severe. The theory building and empirical results of the present research suggest a solution to the puzzle: comprehensiveness and performance exhibit a relationship more complex than previous studies have been designed to detect. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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